A posteriori physicalists get our phenomenal concepts wrong

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (2):191 - 209 (2011)
Authors
Philip Goff
Central European University
Abstract
Dualists say plausible things about our mental concepts: there is a way of thinking of pain, in terms of how it feels, which is independent of causal role. Physicalists make attractive ontological claims: the world is wholly physical. The attraction of a posteriori physicalism is that it has seemed to do both: to agree with the dualist about our mental concepts, whilst retaining a physicalist ontology. In this paper I argue that, in fact, a posteriori physicalism departs from the dualist's intuitive picture of our phenomenal concepts in just as radical a manner as more traditional forms of physicalism. Whereas the physicalism of David Lewis and David Armstrong is counterintuitive in holding that our only way of thinking about pain is in terms of its causal role, the physicalism of David Papineau and Brian Loar departs from common sense in holding that our phenomenal concept of pain is opaque: thinking of pain in terms of how it feels reveals nothing of what it is for something to feel pain. The arguments of David Chalmers and Frank Jackson against a posteriori physicalism involve general claims about all concepts. In contrast, my argument makes a claim only about phenomenal concepts: phenomenal concepts are not opaque
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DOI 10.1080/00048401003649617
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References found in this work BETA

Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 1980 - Harvard University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Self-Awareness.Martine Nida-Rümelin - 2017 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 8 (1):55-82.
A Posteriori Physicalism and Introspection.Andreas Elpidorou - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (1):474-500.
Physicalism.Justin Tiehen - 2018 - Analysis 78 (3):537-551.
Revelation and Physicalism.Kelly Trogdon - 2017 - Synthese 194 (7):2345-2366.

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